Sleep – ages twelve to eighteen

Teenager’s also require 9-10 hours of sleep. Generally, it is known that most children sleep on average 7-7.5 hours.


Factors influencing sleep, development, and recommendations

It is typical to have a two-hour sleep debt in a school week when the child should be most rested.

In older grades, bedtime comes later. Due to hormonal changes beginning at puberty, a so-called 2-hour physiological phase shift to a later time occurs. Hormonal changes have an effect on the daily rhythm and the metabolism of melatonin. Teenagers are also more sensitive to the suppression of melatonin by intense evening light, such as from screens.

Schools that start later have a good impact on daytime alertness. As a result, attention span increases, marks improve, and falling out decreases. At the same time, school starting later does not mean going to bed later.


Typical sleep problems

Based on research done in the USA:

  • 56% of teenagers say they sleep less than they would like to
  • 51% feel tired the next day
  • 25% fall asleep at school at least once a week

More than one in five youngsters falls asleep when doing homework.

The attention of parents must be focused on ensuring that their child enjoys sufficient sleep, because a lack of sleep is also associated with increased risk behaviour (excess caffeine use, using stimulants, poor nutrition, and decreased physical activity). Research has shown that pupils with better results regularly sleep longer than those with average results. Pupils with a “high need for achievement” and deprived sleep have more of the following:

  • anxiety disorders
  • mood disorders
  • extended reaction time
  • attention deficit in the case of tasks that require longer attention
  • disorders with behaviour control
  • lack of motivation


Sleep diary

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